Mason Moore | Hinckley Reporter | 22 February 2022
LEICESTERSHIRE POLICE have today (Tuesday, 22 February) issued a warning about courier fraud – and shared tips on how you can stay safe and protect yourself from it.
They have further urged people to warn those that they know, especially those who are elderly, or vulnerable, so that they do not end up falling victim for scams like this.
Courier fraud is a crime which sees a victim tricked in advance into handing over their cash, bank cards, or other valuable items, to a courier who visits them in person.
According to the Fraud Vulnerability Officer for Leicestershire Police, Rebecca Spilane, it usually happens after a fraudster gets in touch with a victim over the phone, claiming to be either a police officer, or bank official.
The caller can usually sound ‘plausible’ and may even confirm the victim’s name and address and basic information, which can be easily obtained.
On some occasions – once the fraudster has built up a sense of ‘trust’ with the victim – the fraudster will falsely claim that money has been withdrawn from the victim’s bank account by staff within the bank.
They state this in hopes that they can dupe the victim into visiting their local banking branch and withdrawing a large sum of money from their account.
If the victim has went ahead with the fraudsters’ plan and withdrawn the money, they will arrange for somebody to pay a visit to the victim’s address and collect the funds.
But, the Police are aware that this can happen, and they have issued some on advice on how you can prevent this from happening to you.
They have stressed that neither the police or banks would contact people in this way.
Tips on courier fraud – and how to prevent it
Officers have stressed in a statement: “If you get a call like this, hang up”.
If you are cautious after receiving a call like this, and want to confirm with the bank if the call was made by them or not, wait five minutes, or use a different phone line.
The reasoning behind this tip was explained rather simply, stating that: “Fraudsters can stay on the line even after you have hung up”.
They further advised: “Never give any of your details over the phone, and install a call blocker over you phone.”
Phone companies are able to assist their customers on how to install – and find – call-blocking technology which will help to restrict these types of spam calls.